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In a world where global health care workers are far too few, keeping workers healthy and at work is critical to providing health care to all. For more than a decade, Project HOPE and Merck & Co., Inc., have been working together to prevent the spread of hepatitis A and hepatitis B among health workers in the developing world by providing donations of vaccines.

Health care workers especially are at risk of contracting hepatitis B because of their exposure from needle-stick injuries and contact with blood. Keeping health care workers free of hepatitis B helps ensure better care for patients and allows medical professionals to continue vaccinations and education to the general public.

Since 1999, Merck has donated a combined total of approximately one million doses of hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines to support Project HOPE vaccination campaigns around the globe including programs in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

For example, last year, Project HOPE and Merck donated hepatitis B vaccine for medical students at Tajikistan State Medical University. "The students were very grateful to receive the vaccinations," said Colin Credle, Project HOPE’s manager of Humanitarian Assistance in Eurasia. "Because Tajik law dictates that any medical professional give up practicing medicine if they contract hepatitis B, the vaccinations protect these valuable professionals and allow them to practice with one less risk to be concerned about."

Collaboration on the important global health issue of hepatitis A and B helps strengthen the health care infrastructure in countries with limited resources and significant needs.

For more than 50 years, Project HOPE has partnered with Merck to bring better health to people in need.

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